Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

“King Jacob” wins three gold medals at HHSAA Track & Field Championships

Kau's Jacob Edwards is "King of the Hurdles"

Long Live the King!

   Kau’s Jacob Edwards retained his title as the “King of the Hurdles” by successfully defending the state crown at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association track and field championships held at Kamehameha-Kapalama on Saturday.

   Edwards began by winning the 110 meter hurdles and later returned for a repeat performance by winning the 300 hurdles in a blistering time of 38.27 seconds, nearly two seconds ahead of his closest competitor.

   Between his hurdle performances Edwards was claiming his third state medal by winning the triple jump and added a sixth place medal in the long jump to singlehandedly accumulate 31 team points for the Trojans.

   “I’m grateful for how things turned out today,” Edwards said.  “My goal coming in was to keep my state hurdle titles and to try to survive the triple jump.  I was really feeling it today in the 300, but I like all three of these events.”

   Edwards passed on two of his three triple jump attempts during the finals and watched as fellow Big Island Interscholastic Federation athletes performed.  “It was a really cool meet to watch and I was excited for Kelson (Kawai from Kohala) in winning the high jump,” Edwards said.  “We’re all part of a family and we cheer each other on during the state meet.”

  Anuenue’s Joshua Gante leaped 45-05 on his final triple jump to close in on Edwards, but fell 1.25 inches short of passing the talented Trojan.  “I knew I had the best jump from Friday and I wanted to rest between the hurdle events,” Edwards said of his passing on two attempts.

Ku’uipo Nakoa

The BIIF’s other defending state track & field champion, Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Ku’uipo Nakoa, won the gold medal in the 300 hurdles and the triple jump and needed to settle for silver medals in the long jump, and 100 hurdles, Nakoa’s four medals added 36 points to HPA’s total team score.

   “I knew I was running against some amazing athletes,” Nakoa said.  “During the trials I felt intimidated, but today I blocked it out and focused, using tunnel vision.”

   Nakoa’s runner-up status in the 100 hurdles and long jump was due to Kahuku’s superstar Zhane Santiago who won gold in the long jump while setting a new state record for the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.92 seconds.

  In the triple jump Nakoa had to come back from a mediocre trials performance to win the event during the finals in 38-08.25.  “I knew what I had to do in the triple and I didn’t even think about it, I just went for it,” she said.  “I had no idea that I had the winning jump until after the event was over and one of the girls came over to congratulate me.”

Kaopua Sutton

Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton came into the finals leading in the girl’s discus with her preliminary toss of 134-4 inches which stood up in the finals to claim the gold medal.

   “The conditions were just perfect on Friday,” Sutton said.  “The ring was smooth enough for me to gain rotational speed and the wind was just right.  I thought I had better form during the finals as I threw another 134 feet, but yesterday (prelims) everything just clicked.”

Kohala’s Kelson Kawai brought home the gold in the boy’s high jump when he cleared 6’ 6”.  Kawai’s previous best clearance this season was 6-4 as the 5 foot 7 inch leaper defied the laws of gravity.  Kamehameha’s Manta Dirks finished in a tie for fourth.

Kelson Kawai

“This might be the first time that Kohala has had a state champion,” Coach Tom McCue said.  “We’re absolutely thrilled at what Kelson has accomplished – to jump 11 inches beyond his height is incredible.”

   Kawai cleared 6-6 on his first attempt, and then went after the 6-9 state record by asking that the bar be raised to 6-9.25.  “I kept my head positive and I practiced a lot of mental imagery,” Kawai said after winning the event.  “I tried for the state record because I just wanted to see what I could do in my senior year.”

   “A lot of credit goes to my high jump coach, Maria Bunyi, as she helped me get to where I am,” Kawai said. 

Other BIIF finalist on Saturday:

  • Kamehameha’s Francis Blas III finished third in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles with teammate Everett “Maka” McKee in eighth for the 300.  Teammates Manta Dirks was seventh in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump with Kaenan Akau fourth in the long.  Not to be outdone Victoria Evans-Bautista captured third in the long jump for the Warrior girls.
  • HPA’s Shane Brostek took third in the shot put and fourth in the discus – Kamehameha’s David Kekuewa finished eighth in the shot.
  • In the 800 Keaau’s Daniel Brooks took fifth for the boys while Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock finished sixth for the girls.
  • Kamehameha sprinter Kana Silva finished fifth and Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott seventh in the boys 200 and Waiakea’s Teisha Nacis was eighth in the girls 100.
  • Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott was fifth in the boys 400 and Keaau’s Randi Estrada finished fifth for the girls.
  • Honokaa’s Athena Oldfather was fifth in the girls 1500 with teammate Joshua Robinson finishing in sixth for the boys.  (Island School – Kauai’s Pierce Murphy established a new meet record for the 1500 with his time of 4:02.1)
  • High jump finals for the girls were held on Friday with Waiakea’s Ericka Cushnie winning the silver medal and HPA’s Mindy Campbell, the defending state champion, finishing in sixth.
  • Konawaena’s Ua Ruedy third in the girls 300 hurdles.
  • Hilo’s Shina Chung finished tied for fifth in the girl’s pole vault. “I feel good about today,” Chung said.  “I still have two more years to get better.  There is tough competition at the state meet.”

   The top six boys and top six girls in each of the track and field events took home medals and scored points for their respective schools.

   Punahou claimed the girl’s team championship, accumulating 95 points and surpassing runner up Radford with 63.  The top BIIF girl’s team was HPA with 37 points – 36 of those points coming from Nakoa.

   Punahou also won the boy’s team title with 70 points with runner-up Kamehameha-Kapalama 66.33.  Tiny Kau, on the back of Jacob Edwards, finished fourth in the state with Edwards scoring all 31 points for the Trojans.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hilo Boys, HPA Girls win BIIF track & field relays

     The Big Island Interscholastic Federation held its annual track & field relays this past Saturday with the Hilo boys and Hawaii Prep girls taking top team honors.

    Keaau’s Mtume Msizkizi-Jackson and Kohala’s Julia Naumes was selected by the BIIF Games Committee as the “Most Valuable” all around athletes from the relays meet.

   For Msizkizi-Jackson it was the second consecutive year that the Cougar senior had been named Most Valuable.

   “I was surprised to have been selected,” Msizkizi-Jackson said after receiving his plaque.  “I am happy that our team did well in the meet, as I will do whatever it takes to help my team.”

   The meet was scored for each of the relay events with the winner getting ten points, second place eight points, third place six points, down to sixth place receiving one point.

   After the official scorer, Bob Martin, tabulated the results it was the Hilo boys edging out Keaau by one point.

   Msizkizi-Jackson was entered in six events, the maximum allowed during a track & field meet, and excelled in each finishing no worse than second in all of his events.

   “I thought my triple jump was the worse of the season,” he said.  “I had trouble extending into the pit and felt that I could hardly make the jump.”  Despite his harsh criticism he was still able to hit 42 feet 1 inch to place second.

   Msizkizi-Jackson won the long jump and anchored his shuttle hurdle team to a first place finish while helping his teammates to second place finishes in the 4×100, 4×400 and sprint medley relays.

   The multi talented Cougar will be attending Malone University in Canton, Ohio on a football scholarship.  “I like track and I like the environment and friendly atmosphere, but I’ll play wide receiver in college because it will help me get an education,” he said

   Kohala senior, Julia Naumes, was selected Most Valuable due to her winning two individual events and her versatility in running several relay events, according to the Games Committee.

   Naumes, who came into Saturday’s meet ranked seventh in the state in the shot put, raised her state standing with a toss of 38 feet 1 inch.

   “That’s the farthest I’ve ever thrown,” an elated Naumes said after the meet.  “My furthest throw was 34’ 11.75” last year, but I’ve been throwing 35 and 36 feet during practice.”

   Naumes didn’t waste any time during the shot event launching her 38’ 1” toss on her first throw with an explosive finish.  “I didn’t think it was a good throw when I released the shot, but I knew that my release was good.”

    Kohala throwing coach and former state shot champion, Kealii Freitas, had high praise for Naumes.  “Her technique is finally coming together and her release at the end is coming around.  When she launched her first throw I knew it was a good one, then on her second throw she went over 36 feet,” he said.

    “Julia has the ability to throw over 40 feet and we’re happy that the BIIF and state championships are at Keaau as that is her favorite ring,” Freitas said.

    Later in the day Naumes went onto win the discus throw and later anchored a mixed team relay made up of throwers from Waiakea to win that event.

   Kohala has only four girls on their track team and Naumes is the only thrower, but the Cowgirls put together a distance relay with Naumes running the 1200 meter leg and the team finished in third place, good enough for six points.

     Honokaa’s Tialana Greenwell and Jake Shiraki won the prestigious “Distance Award” presented by Kohala coach, Tom McCue.

   Greenwell, just a sophomore, easily won the event by getting out quickly and separating herself from the rest of the field to win in 5:12.22.

   For teammate Shiraki it was a more difficult task as the senior was running in second for most of the race to Keaau’s Daniel Brooks.

   “I just wanted to keep it close and not let Daniel get away from me,” Shiraki said after the race.  “I knew he was good and I was hoping that it would come down to a sprint at the end.

    The Dragon senior got his way as Brooks led the entire way before Shiraki made his move in the final straightaway.  With 10 meters to go Shiraki slipped by Brooks to steal the victory away clocking 4:22.71 to Brooks 4:22.78.

     McCue, a longtime distance runner, makes the annual presentation for the top male and female 1500 meter runner.  For Greenwell this was her second consecutive victory and the third for the Greenwell family as her sister Alicia won the award in 2007.

    “I have another sister that will be running for us next year and she’s a good runner too,” Greenwell said.  

     Both Greenwell and Shiraki left the meet within an hour after winning the distance award to participate in Honokaa’s prom being held later that evening.

   HPA, who won the overall girl’s team title, was without several key athletes and coach, Pat Lau, had high praise for one of his girls.

   “Our team MVP for this meet has to be Sydney Budde,” he said.  “She had never done the pole vault before and she cleared 8 feet 6 inches to win that event.  We also used her in the 4×800 relays and the 1500 distance medley.”

   Lau felt that Budde, who is just a freshman, contribution was worthy of his team MVP honors as the Ka Makani went onto win all their distance events.

   The BIIF season returns to a regular track & field format with an all-schools meet scheduled for Konawaena with field events and the 3000 meter run starting at 9 a.m.

Honokaa's Tia Greenwell & Jake Shiraki are awarded koa bowls for being the top 1500 meter runners in the BIIF

Honokaa's Tia Greenwell & Jake Shiraki are awarded koa bowls for being the top 1500 meter runners in the BIIF

April 13, 2009 Posted by | Health and Fitness, High School Track & Field | , , , , | Leave a comment